Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 34, 2008

Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Abby Thomas
Pages 49-55

Mind, Brain and Intellectual Machine in the Digital Age

In this presentation we shall discuss the nature of mind vis-a-vis the brain and computers. Such a comparison presumes a general equivalence of brains and computers and models the brain as a huge biological computer, with consciousness added. The uniqueness of Mind in the lines of ancient Indian thought has been accpted as the basic concept in the analysis. Regarding the chief difference between mind and brain, material of the mind is taken to be subtle matter. The brain is made of gross matter and is a part of the physical body. Considering the brain and the computer, the brain is a biological structure made of organic molecules, whereas computer chips are inorganic objects manufactured by etching circuits on the surface of silica chips. Thus the human brain, occupying volume, is a volumetric entity whereas a computer, as electronic circuitry on a silica chip, is an areal entity. This explains the vast processing power and exceptional capabilities of the human brain.